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Greentech Business Competition in India Sparks VC Interest

Published 01-23-08

Submitted by Foundation for a Sustainable Future

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - January 22, 2008 - San Francisco-based Foundation for a Sustainable Future (FSF) is sponsoring the first Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition on February 11 and 12, 2008 in collaboration with the prestigious Indian Institute for Foreign Trade (IIFT) in New Delhi, India. The event is drawing interest from top"“tier US venture capital firms like Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, which will be represented by greentech expert, Dr. Ajit Nazre, and major Indian VCs and executives such as Dr. J. J. Irani, Director of the Tata Group. The Honorable Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Union Minister for Earth Sciences, India will be the chief guest.

Greentech and sustainable technology projects have become one of the fastest growing sectors in attracting venture capital worldwide. North American greentech companies attracted nearly 4 billion in venture capital in 2007; In Europe, investments in this space tripled from 2005 to 2006. Cleantech investments in China increased 147% in the same time frame.

IIFT is staking a claim to be a leader in greentech entrepreneurial education in India by encouraging technical and MBA graduate students to bring new sustainable technologies to market through entrepreneurship. Says Dr. K. T. Chacko, Director of IIFT "We recognize that greentech will lead growth in the global economy... India is committed to be a leader in this field and IIFT is committed to be being a leader in India's greentech revolution."

Ms. Oopali Operajita, a noted political strategist and parliamentary adviser took on the task of arranging an All-India Sustainable Tech competition, because, in her words, "I recognized that in one stroke, it would be possible to make an entire generation of bright Indian students aware of the indispensable need to think 'sustainability', and to have it firmly embedded in the consciousness of our students and future generations, for the sheer survival of the planet." Ms. Operajita was appointed Chair, India Projects for FSF in 2007.

Over sixty top Indian technical and management colleges and universities have been invited to send teams to the IIFT competition. Approximately eight qualifying teams will be selected from the entries to make their presentations and compete in the finals at IIFT on February 11 this year. Qualifying entries will be judged by a panel of industrialists, executives, eminent IIFT faculty, investors and government representatives. Winners will compete at the Global Sustainable Business Plan competition sponsored by the Foundation for a Sustainable Future, and hosted by Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA March 13-15, 2008.

Sarosh Kumana, founder of San Francisco-based FSF, is gratified by the widespread interest that the competition has sparked. "In concert with government action and a shift in public consciousness, business will play the key role in attaining global sustainability," he said. "Solving the major problems in sustainability creates major opportunities and rewards for the entrepreneurs who solve them. We catalyze that process", he added.

FSF sponsored the Sustainable Tech track at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business's annual venture competition, which is now in its second year. Additionally, FSF intends to sponsor sustainable business plan competitions in other countries and continents to inspire and support entrepreneurial students to set up profitable businesses, which also increase global sustainability.

Foundation for a Sustainable Future

Foundation for a Sustainable Future

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